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How track HTML Emails using images

Posted on 2003-03-31
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-09
   I've heard you can track HTML emails (whether they're opened etc) by including an image as part of the HTML.
Do you know if this is possible and if so do you ahve any sample code on how to do this.

Cheers for the help.

Question by:gusboy
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

dorward earned 600 total points
ID: 8239182
Use remote images and stick a unique query string on each image.

<img src="http://www.myserver.com/myImage.png?userid=738294738297985" alt="whatever">

Then you can extract the results from your server log. (Or you can make the image a CGI program that returns an image to the user and makes a note in a log file/database).

Considered by many people to be an unacceptable invasion of privacy.

Will not work if the email is viewed off line.

Will not work if the email is viewed with images disabled.

Will not work if the email passes through a filter which strips out images and/or query strings.

Expert Comment

ID: 8240974
I can create a CGI script with PERL to do that if you need it, just let me know.

LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 8242026
Fortunately my email server will put such emails in the trash where they belong, and put the source on the blocked list.  You might want to re-think your approach, it is the kind to thing that is getting blocked more and more all the time, and the site where you hot link the image will end up blocked by some corporate sites as part of the battle against spam; and users behind those firewalls will not be able to visit even if they want to.


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